Horse & Rider
Plan Your Ride
The mental part of riding is just as important as the physical part. Having a plan before you get in the saddle helps you and your horse have a productive riding session, whether your goal is to improve on basic horsemanship skills or be successful in the show pen.
Some days, your riding objective will include letting your horse relax, which might involve an easy riding session in the arena or going for a leisurely trail ride, while other days your objective will be more specific to help you prepare for a competition.
Regardless of what your end goal is, it’s good to plan your ride before you even step foot in the arena.
Aim for Improvement
Once you know what your end goal is, it’s time to come up with a day-today riding objective. To avoid overwhelming your horse, try to simplify your objective and work on one piece at a time. Some days, it might include working on a certain maneuver, while other days might involve a light exercise session. However, try to aim for one percent of improvement at the end of each ride.
Even if you never plan to step foot in the show pen, it’s good to create reachable goals to help you improve as a rider.
Good horsemanship skills are important no matter what discipline you partake in, and by making slight improvements each ride, your horse stays in a good mind-set, creating a better riding experience for everyone.
It should also be noted that if you have multiple horses you’re riding, you need to treat each horse individually, and tailor your riding program to fit each horse’s needs, which means you might have to come up with separate game plans and riding objectives for each horse. It doesn’t matter if your end goal is the same for all of your horses; they’ll have different strengths and weaknesses and
Before you throw your leg over the saddle, come up with a game plan of what your riding session is going to look like.